A place to rest in honor of a woman who never does.
Shirley Fischer, wife, mother, and co-founder of 3 Men Movers turns 80 today! In honor of this milestone, her children have dedicated a bench to her in front of a building she and her husband own, in their hometown Dixon, Illinois.
Shirley was born on August 6, 1936, and was named after Shirley Temple (the child star during the Great Depression). She grew up in southern Illinois and lived in a small two-bedroom house with her parents, little brother, and three sisters out in the country. Life was simple back then. The four girls shared a bed on the porch and walked to school together. They did laundry in a washtub and hung it on the line. They didn’t have electricity, running water, or own a car when they were little. They went to school in a one room school house with about 13 children of all grade levels, and her father worked in the mines.
When the mines shut down her family moved to the “big town”, of Dixon, Illinois. She started Dixon High School at age 13. She was shy, being from a very small school, but eventually came out of her shell. She excelled in art and was a tomboy. Her best friends were Burt Lorenzen and Sammy Kerley who later went on to marry her two younger sisters.
Later in life she met John Fischer, the town hellraiser…AKA The Kingfish. Although she was warned to not marry him, she was headstrong and did it anyway. After marriage, John settled down and did right by her. However, life was never the same because John had big plans. John liked to travel and took Shirley to Florida, Mexico, and Tennessee. Quite an adventure for a small town girl.
Shirley had 4 kids from her previous marriage, Mike, Kelly, Chris, and Patrick and they added another child, Jacky, to the brood. After the older kids left the nest, they moved to the city of Houston, Texas with their youngest.
Life in Houston started off difficult with failed businesses and very little money to live on. Through grit, determination, and a little luck at age 50 they started a moving company, 3 Men Movers. While John worked on the trucks moving furniture, Shirley supported her family on a minimum wage job at the public library as a desk assistant. Later she found out she could get a raise if she drove the bookmobile. She went to school, got her CDL license and became a trucker, driving a library on wheels to communities that didn’t have libraries! John always said he could not have started and grown 3 Men Movers without her unwavering support.
As the business became more successful life got easier. Shirley retired and began to focus on her art and they bought a home on the Gulf Coast. She traveled to New York with her son Chris and to England with her friend. They sold the moving company to their youngest daughter and settled down to enjoy their golden years.
Unfortunately, life is not without its ups and downs. On September 13, 2008, they lost their home and all of their possessions during hurricane Ike. They were lucky enough to have made it off the peninsula, as many did not survive the deadly storm.
They eventually moved back to the beach and built a new home. Recently they purchased another waterfront property on the edge of the Rock River in Dixon, where they spend their summers close to their friends and family.
Although Shirley is 80, she still walks over 10,000 steps a day (that’s about 4 miles!) and is known for her witty sense of humor. She is now the matriarch of the family and respected for her resilience and strength. She is loved. Happy Birthday, Shirley Fischer!